The University St Gallen and the MyHandicap Foundation opened their Center for Disability Integration today, November 5th. Bill Clinton spoke at he opening ceremony.
What do they write they do?
- They investigate how mental illness affects coworkers.
- They investigate how to reduce public spending on disabled people.
- They somehow hope to integrate disabled people into society.
What does it really take?
1. Disabled people require rehabilitation and support. The means should be adequate, effective and affordable. Not to intimidate or ignore others but to rehabilitate them and enable them as much as possible. These are a whole list of detailed items all of which really matter. If severe stump pain is best treated with Cannabis, why is there no medical prescription drug that contains it? If the Becker hand works so well, why are our orthopedic technicians not even aware of it at all? If skills matter, where is the skill center where we can learn them?
2. Disabled people require a systematical training in communicative means of socializing. This is always forgotten. Only then can they explain themselves to others, try to resolve tension, make things clear. They need to be enabled to get others to understand their situation. Read Erving Goffman's "Stigma" and understand that the burden of explanation is on the disabled person. Train that person well. So, where are the training opportunities?
3. Disabled people require the public to gain an understanding of what a particular disability is, what it entails and what it is not. There needs to be a general body of information geared towards the public. Where do we look things up? Where do we experience reality?
4. A sound economy is really important. I am disabled and I find it important to have bank secrecy, to have flat tax rates for the super rich - hell, I am pro economy because that is what we need. Don't care about disabled people in economy - care about the economy first.
5. Hands on support. There needs to be hands on support, both psychological and technical. Where is the IV / disability insurance hotline? Where is their tool shed? Where do they offer the quick fixes? So far I am very well serviced by Balgrist Tec, but then my prosthetic arm is extremely serviceable - and both offered support and fixable service items are not a universal experience of many disabled people.
Disabled people are people like everyone else. Just disabled.